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Beginner's Guide to HipHop


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I'm sure you've all noticed the relative preponderance of hiphop bassists in the last few BP issues. It got me to think about how much feeling and soul their playing has in a modern context.


Feel free to contribute your ideas as to what tunes should belong on a "must have" list of hiphop as it relates to BASS

...think funky thoughts... :freak:
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Not sure about bass-centric tunes, but if you're going to dive into a new genre, you should do it full on.


Classics, listen to some Run-DMC (especially Raising Hell) and some Digital Underground, some old LL Cool J...


Listen to some ODB, some Notorious BIG, some of Jay Z's newer stuff. Nelly ain't bad, and neither is the overplayed but somewhat catchy Ja Rule.

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ALL hip-hop somehow relates to bass. hip-hop is all about the groove, and the thump... the essence of bass. you're not going to find too much live bass, but you will find a lot of sick grooves. missy elliot is kind of love her/hate her amongst hip-hop purists, but her beats rawk. wu-tang clans latest is iron flag. check that out. jay-z's black album is another must have.
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Ace, I'm diggin' that avatar- and I do get the reference.


You could take a look to the new issue of BP- the player (whom I can't recall) does a lot of work with Dr. Dre. This is the kind of thing I'm looking for.

...think funky thoughts... :freak:
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Maury was dead on with Run Dmc. I'd like to add Grandmaster Flash-there was definately a real bass player on "The Message" and "New York" ...sick grooves, man.


When I was in HS I used to jam with these 2 dj's. I'd play bass and one of them would rap while the other spun records. Very interesting stuff...

"The world will still be turning when you've gone." - Black Sabbath


Band site: www.finespunmusic.com

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Well, if you go with ol' skool hip-hop, a lot of the bass tracks will be samples of R&B, funk, and soul recordings (e.g., "Rapper's Delight"). With some groups, like Run DMC and the Beastie Boys, you will also get samples of rock beats and riffs.


Of recent, there are more live bass players laying down grooves on hip-hop albums. Of note would be albums from the Roots, w/ Leonard "Hub" Hubbard on bass. Also, Talib Kweli's CD Quality features players such as Doug Wimbish and Pino Palladino. Ron Carter plays on at least one of the tracks on A Tribe Called Quest's The Low End Theory (which is a must-have CD in my opinion).


And I think your observation is right on -- BP has had articles about Mike Elizondo, Preston Crump, Raphael Saadiq, Hub and others (including Pino Palladino) from the hip-hop world.


Also, try a "search" using my member number. I think a while ago I started a thread about hip-hop bass that might help you in your quest for knowledge.






Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Like the Good Docta S-Dubbs, sez, you gotta check out some old threads he started about hip-hop and bass.


Just to fill in a few holes if yer lazy, try checkin' out:

De La Soul - Three Feet High And Rising

Black Sheep - Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

Gang Starr - Pick any album!

Dr. Dre - The Chronic

Grandmaster Flash - Any album!

Cypress Hill - Cypress Hill

Eric B. And Rakim - Paid In Full

The Roots - Illadelph Half-Life

A Tribe Called Quest - The Low-End Theory

The Goats - Tricks Of The Shade

Craig Mack - The New Flava

Digable Planets - Digable Planets


Man, I could go on and on... til the crack of dawn.. mowing down MCs like I'm mowing a lawn...



"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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In order to get to the grooves you have to go to the beginning. I am Hip Hop purist, D.J., and old school junkie. I have done engineering and production work. It comes down to this. All the attention in Hip Hop comes from the 60's and 70's bass sounds. In the 80's sampling was the avenue because no could or would play the music and it was cheaper to have a D.J. run two records in the break. As Hip Hop got more economic power the entertainment industry began to take it seriously. Artist and genre's began to colloberate and expand on sampling with live bands. This pushed all musical boundaries. Live musicians and instrumentation allows great improv, flexibility, and an atmosphere to vibe. These are the main ingredients for Hip Hop or any genre. It became necessary to play the sampled bass lines live. Since most of the sampled music was from the 60's 70's and 80's there influence is inevitable. There is this thing I do with some of the teens I mentor. They would talk about a new tune. How fresh it is, cool it sounds, or say that nobody's done that before. I would pull out the original tune and it help open dialogue for other topics. I use music to show them that there is nothing new. The problems you have are the same problems we have. It makes a difference on how they respond. SORRY GOT OFF ON A TANGENT. But it all started from bassline.
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Listen to Beastie Boys "Paul's Boutique", and chase the samples down. From Superfly to Mississippi Queen, the finest ingredients are right in the mix.


Another fave of mine is the Brand New Heavies "Heavy Rhyme Experience", a great band backing many old-skool rappers. Lots of groove there.


And, indeed, on this topic,

check with Doctor Will-dub,

he's got the skilz, bub,

mad-phat knowlege paying billz

and spreadin Luv, bub.

Or something.






I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.






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